Essay on The US Should Learn from the Finns

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American education has been in decline since 1970’s and into the Post-Cold War era in comparison to other OECD nations (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Since then, the U.S. has chosen to standardize two major factors in American education: what gets taught, and how kids get assessed (Townsend, 2013). Scores from PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), a test that compares educational levels across nations found that, out of 34 countries the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math, far behind the highest scoring countries like Finland (USAToday, 2010). It would be difficult to pinpoint any one issue as the sole problem with American education, because the educational system does…show more content…
Researchers estimate that gains made by students in those 11 countries equate to about two years of learning in American education. As a solution, the federal government has made hefty financial commitments to education in recent years, including the implementation of No Child Left Behind and the subsequent waivers from the standards-based law as well as the influx of about $89 billion in stimulus dollars to prevent teacher layoffs, keep class sizes down and avoid program cuts. Although dumping money into the system is far from a reasonable solution. The United States spends more per student, on average, than other countries. In the 2009 PISA study, only Luxembourg spent more per student. The report notes that countries like Estonia and Poland perform at about the same level as the United States, while spending less than half the amount per student (USAToday, 2010). As a nation once harboring world’s brightest minds, and with its current subpar educational performance, you would ought to think that the US Department of Education and the US Congress would be keen on developing a forward thinking system that improves student

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